Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Moving Forward

You may have noticed that I’ve been slacking on updating this blog. It’s not for lack of content- I have several things I’ve been meaning to post. It’s partly that it has been a busy month- Mike and I have been shuffling papers for updating our address, identification, insurance, banking etc, partly in anticipation of becoming a married couple soon and partly because Mike has officially changed careers. The career change is exciting; the paperwork, not so much.

To tell the truth, though, that’s not the main reason I haven’t posted. Right after we got engaged, I dove deep into planning. I wrote about how it was helpful for me to have a positive distraction from grieving my mom. I’ve noticed that I’ve lost interest in so many things since last summer and I was relieved to find I was finally excited about something again. I spent hours researching venues, and reading up on traditions I wanted to keep or toss, and looking at color schemes and fun crafts. I immersed myself.

But as time went on, the ‘happy distraction’ morphed. It started to highlight her death and gave me whole new ways to miss her. Weddings revolve pretty heavily around family. I was missing a lot of the help and insight my mom would’ve imparted. I was also starting to see how visible her absence would be, at the wedding of her daughter. Her death was becoming amplified, rather than alleviated, because of planning.

And I don’t mean to be overly morose or self-pitying, but it’s not just that she died. It’s how she died, and all the awfulness that surrounded it. The discord and confusion and agonizing over her care. It was a nightmare. To this day I can’t go to sleep at night without taking something to knock me out, or I lay awake and remember and cry. I’ll stop there because this is supposed to be a happy blog. Nobody’s life is easy, everyone deals with tragedy. I’m not special. I’m just saying it’s been rough. It’s hard to move on when so much is still unsettling- I can't simply grieve like a 'normal person.'

Still, I tried to move forward and focus on the positive parts of wedding planning. The happy stuff, like the sweet parts of the ceremony, the potential themes, the cool décor details. The fun parts. And I wanted to share it with someone. As every bride has learned, there is sooooooo much that goes into a wedding, and I was bursting with information and ideas. But yet again, I was smacked in the face with loss. Another reason a bride needs her mother is so she’ll always have someone to talk to who’s interested. Someone who wants to listen, who is excited for you, and with you, and someone whose intentions are always positive. I abhor gender stereotypes, but the truth is, this just isn’t my groom’s cup of tea. He’s making an effort, he deserves credit for that, but he really is super busy right now. (Specifically, working hard so we can pay for this damn wedding.) My friends all have busy lives, and/or varying levels of interest in the wedding. I get it. It’s not interesting to everyone. I know I should just accept that and get over it, but it still leaves a void that I’m hyper aware my mom would’ve filled. It’s hard not to take it personally when it’s so painfully personal.

The combination of grief and wedding stress has left me feeling alienated. It's hard to grasp the amount of work a wedding can be, and it's impossible to understand the despair I feel from losing my mom. Not that I would wish these feelings on anyone.

So the last couple of weeks, simply put, I have failed at getting over it. Instead, I’ve just lost enthusiasm. The wind has left my sails. And unfortunately, this is happening right when I need to make the important choices. The time has come to make a decision, and I can’t.

As a response to feeling hurt, I have avoided talking about the wedding, for the most part, and therefore avoided blogging. I was afraid that my posts would end up sounding whiny and self-pitying and sad and… ah… maybe come off just like the 6 or 7 paragraphs above this. Oops.

On the plus side, despite all this, Michael and I are doing great. He’s pretty busy, but the time we spend together is so good, and the one thing I know with absolute clarity is we’re going to spend the rest of our lives together and I’m incredibly lucky. Frankly, at this point I’d happily elope. I’m trying to get back on track by constantly reminding myself that the ultimate prize is Michael. I’ll have had a happy wedding the moment we put rings on each other’s fingers. I did know that, all along, but my focus has sharpened.

So I leave you, dear blog readers, with a promise to get back to posting, more frequently and much more happily! I think (hope) that’ll get me back into the swing of things. And I'm not going to slack on wedding planning anymore. I’m further investigating a final venue this weekend, and then I have given myself until the end of the month to sit down with Michael, go over the budgets and options one more time, and make a decision. In the meantime, no more sad stuff. I promise.


  1. I'm glad to see you posting again. I would ask you not to swear off posting about "sad stuff" though. It's part of everything and it is very real. Yes, everyone experiences tragedy to a degree (though many have not experienced it to the degree that you have), but that doesn't mean you should be able to just shake it off. I think that if it were that easy, it wouldn't be "normal" at all. Hang in there, Suzy Q. You're doing great and we're all rooting for you.

  2. I'm not married yet, although if my mom had had her way, I would've married the last day of 2009. I have two voicemails left from her, and in each of them, she's hinting at how easy it would be for me and my "husband, oh, oops, future husband" to drive into Nevada and get married.

    Much of my mourning--apart from at the bitterness of how miserable the end was--has been tied to all the things she's never going to get to see her first grandson or all her grandchildren yet to come do. Over the weekend, my son, Li'l D, sneaked his first smooch on a girl we met while walking. I wanted to call my mom and say, "You'll live this!" 15 months since her death, it hit me: I can't.

    I try to look at it like I'm carrying her love forward in the love I show my son, and that helps. But I think if I do ever get married, I'll probably feel a great sadness that I couldn't get it together enough to get married while my mom was alive to rejoice that.

    Still, her grandson was her joy in her last days, and looking at the picture I posted on my blog Monday reminds me there's much still to be grateful for.

    I'm so glad to Jess for pointing me to your blog.

  3. Thank you so much Deb. In the eulogy I said that even though I wouldn't have my mom to help me raise my kids in the future, she'd given me the gift of example by being such a wonderful mother, and I will strive to be like her every day as a parent. I'm so glad your mother was able to spend that time with her grandson; it must have meant so much to her.